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Letter to the Community

April 16, 2015

Dear Members of our Madison and Dane County Community,

We came together in October 2014 in the wake of the officer-involved shooting in Ferguson, MO. to discuss how we could assist our community as we all reacted to this tragedy. As we met regularly, our focus was how to protect people’s civil rights and safety during this time, but our conversation also spanned the work needed to further address the root issues contributing to racial disparities in our own community.

Following the officer-involved shooting of Tony Robinson we immediately gathered but with increased shock, sadness and gravity. Since that time we have all been shaken by what seems to be an undeniable rash of these occurrences in our nation. But we each, and all, felt a responsibility to stay together to continue to assist in whatever way we could with how our community is processing our tragedy at home. We understand the fear, anger and extreme sadness this has released.

Soon our District Attorney will be making a determination on this case. There likely will be other decision points along the way. We want to point out some resources to individuals and families over the coming weeks and ask for your help.

First, if anyone you know is experiencing challenges they cannot handle alone and don’t know where to turn please call 2-1-1. There are a myriad of mental health, behavioral health, and other services available. The service is available 24 hours 7 days a week.

Next, many families have asked about how to talk to their young children about this issue. We understand that this causes stress to children of all ages. The Center for Disease Control has a very helpful link that helps parents talk to children about difficult crisis in an age appropriate way. This information can be found at www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pub/coping_with_stress_tips.html

Finally, the Boys and Girls Club is putting together a Youth and Unity Summit, which many of us are co- sponsoring, on April 26 at Memorial High School. Please go to www.youthandunity2015.com to learn more about this summit and how to register. It will be a great opportunity for young people to come together so we can hear their voices on this issue.

We understand that hard, hard work, self-reflection and the need for understanding and change are ahead of us. We’re committed to working on and dedicating our organizations’ resources to correcting these racial disparities. As we navigate these coming weeks we ask for understanding and that everyone exercise his or her civil rights respectfully & peacefully.

Yours in community,

Dr. Floyd Rose
100 Black Men
Bishop Harold Rayford
African American Council of Churches
Michael Johnson
Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County
Gloria Reyes
City of Madison
Chief Mike Koval
City of Madison Police Department
Charles A. Tubbs Sr.
Dane County
Greg Jones
Dane County NAACP
Chief Craig Shervan
Dane County Chiefs of Police Association
Sheriff Dave Mahoney
Dane County Sheriff’s Office
Peng Her
Hmong Community Leader
Jennifer Cheatham
Madison Metropolitan School District
Luis Yudice
Madison Metropolitan School District
Reverend Alex Gee Jr.
Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership
Leslie Ann Howard
United Way of Dane County
Chief Susan Riseling
University of Wisconsin Madison Police Department
Noble Wray
Urban League of Greater Madison

Dane County Youth Will Serve and Celebrate on Global Youth Service Day, April 22, 24-26

World’s largest service event highlights the power of the contributions of children and youth 365 days of the year; Dane County youth join youth across 100 countries to develop leadership skills and strengthen our community.

United Way of Dane County LIVE UNITED Youth are proud to join youth all over the world in celebration of Global Youth Service Day (GYSD). Established in 1988, GYSD celebrates and mobilizes millions of young people who improve their communities through volunteerism. Over 3,000 local children and youth will participate in volunteer opportunities on April 22 (Earth Day), 24-26, 2015. This year these children and youth will be working to strengthen our community and create a lasting impact to address critical issues in the areas of Education, Income and Health. GYSD volunteer opportunities include cleaning local parks, hosting donation drives for homeless families, gardening and composting, school-wide Earth Day celebrations, STEM (science, tech, engineering, math) service-learning projects, and mural projects.

Connect with LIVE UNITED Youth on Facebook and on Twitter @LiveUnitedDane.

Local highlighted projects include
(to view more community projects visit VolunteerYourTime.org):

Time/Date Organization Project
April 22/9:00am-1:30pm SouthernCare Hospice Hand Print Flower Pots
April 22/1:00pm-3:00pm Dane County Office of Lakes and Watersheds “Take a Stake” Storm Drain Challenge
April 22/3:00pm-5:00pm University of Wisconsin-Madison Discovery Building Preparing Cow Eye Balls for Outreach!
April 24/11:30am-1:00pm Lakeview Elementary School & Youth Volunteer Corps Earth Day & GYSD Celebration
April 25/9:00am-11:30am TASC and United Way of Dane County Assemble Food Packets
April 25/9:00am-12:00pm Student United Way & Youth Volunteer Corps Crazylegs Classic
April 26/2:00pm-6:00pm Youth and Unity Summit Youth and Unity On-Site Volunteer Projects

“It is inspiring to see youth in our community come together and make change happen,” says Leslie Ann Howard, President & CEO. “Volunteers, like these youth, are the heroes in our community making Dane County a great place to live!”
Now in it’s 27th year, GYSD is celebrated in more than 100 countries, and recognizes the positive impact that children and youth have on their communities 365 days a year. Organized by Youth Service America (YSA), a leader in the international youth service movement, GYSD offers children and youth, ages 5 to 25, the resources and support to plan meaningful projects that improve their communities.
“Congratulations and thanks to the young people of Dane County for their work to improve their community,” said Steven A. Culbertson, YSA president and CEO. “On Global Youth Service Day, the world stands in awe as we see what’s possible when kids take the lead as problem-solvers.”

United Way Celebrates National Volunteer Week

Last year, local volunteers invested 14,496,300 hours of service in our community, providing a value of over $326,166,750 to Dane County.

United Way of Dane County is joining the nationwide celebration of National Volunteer Week, April 12-18, spotlighting the vital work done by volunteers in our community.
National Volunteer Week is about recognizing those who have already taken action and encouraging other individuals and their respective communities to be at the center of social change–discovering and actively demonstrating their collective power to foster positive transformation through volunteerism.

This year the United Way Volunteer Center will be providing resources and materials to local nonprofits to recognize their volunteers. Resources will be made available in the Volunteer Center starting the week of April 13.

Looking for a volunteer opportunity? National Volunteer Week is a great time to call or stop by the United Way Volunteer Center for assistance with volunteer placement. Call United Way
2-1-1 to give or get help, or go to volunteeryourtime.org.

“The progress that United Way and other nonprofit organizations are making in Dane County are made possible because of volunteers—the local heroes who take action to ensure that our community’s needs are met,” says Leslie Ann Howard, President & CEO, United Way of Dane County. At United Way alone, “nearly 19,000 volunteers gave over 655,000 hours last year to accelerate our progress in our community’s Agenda for Change. We wouldn’t make measurable change in our community without them.”


April is all about volunteers!


April 12-18 National Volunteer Week
April 22, 24-26 Dane County’s Global Youth Service Day (3,000 local youth)
May 1 United Way Community Volunteer Awards

About National Volunteer Week
National Volunteer Week is a time to celebrate people doing extraordinary things through service. Established in 1974, National Volunteer Week focuses national attention on the impact and power of volunteerism as an integral aspect of our civic leadership. The week
draws the support and endorsement of the President and congress, governors, mayors and municipal leaders, as well as corporate and community groups across the country.

About Global Youth Service Day
On April 22, 24-26 over 3,000 local children and youth will be volunteering in a variety of volunteer opportunities across Dane County in connection with Global Youth Service Day. The theme “One World, One Goal” symbolizes the impact our community’s youth want to make in our community and in our world. Local youth will be joining young people around the world in celebrating the 27th anniversary of Global Youth Service Day (GYSD). Studies have shown that volunteering in the early years helps instill the value of civic engagement and community involvement as a building block to life-long success. As the largest service event in the world, GYSD coincides with Earth Day and National Volunteer Week. GYSD is celebrated in more than 100 countries, and recognizes the positive impact that young people have on their communities 365 days a year. Organized by YSA (Youth Service America), a leader in the international youth service movement, Global Youth Service Day offers youth, ages 5 to 25, the resources and support to plan meaningful projects that improve their communities.

Get Involved
If you want to be involved in the volunteer movement or are looking for a way to give back this week, log onto www.unitedwaydanecounty.org and click on the VOLUNTEER button, or go to volunteeryourtime.org.